Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Banshee or not Banshee? Banshee, of course!

From Paulo in Brazil:

Are you thinking in doing an update on your ride? I was. Have you thought about Banshee? I did. And I could not be happier with my decision.

I’m 41 years old. So you can guess that I’m not into big jumps, DH races, 360s, backflips and all. Also I don’t like competition. Don’t like the stress involved on that. My joy is ride all day long with friends (always trails with more than 40 km longer), lots of climbing, , appreciating the views on top of the hills and, of course, going fast downhill as much as I can. Pure all mountain.

For that I wanted a bike with more travel that could give enough confidence to go faster than today. Also I wanted a bike with good climbing skills, because I do that a lot. The logical step was tried to get another Cannondale since I was riding a Jekyll for 4 years. However, the prices for new models were too high for my bucks and the guys there (despite my attempts) did not help. Apparently, my old, but in excellent shape bike, did not worthy a penny for then. They loose me right there and I decided go for a change.

After a lot of research and reading (Unfortunately Banshee is best known as a DH bike in Brazil and I come from a XC/AM scene) I decided to get a Rune. I was afraid at first, because all my friends ride C-dales, or other pop brands out there and I have to listen a lot of “you’ll regret, it is too heavy” from then. But they all were wrong.

In fact, it is a little bit heavier than my previous bike. Really a bit. I decide just to take all the parts I already had and install it in the new frame. The weight difference regards the frame itself, a bit higher in the Rune. The only changes I really make were the tires (now I have a 2.4 Maxxis Advantage in front, for confidence going down, and a 2.1 Velociraptor in the rear, for traction) and the brakes (I installed a brand new pair of Elixir CR).

The rest is a mix of XT Cranks and hubs, X9 rear derailleur/shifters, FSA bars, Selle Italia saddle, with a seat post that came with the frame, Manitou Nixon IT Fork, Fox RP23 with Propedal shock, and Sun wheels. If they are not the best parts, are not the worse either. The result is a pretty light weight (14kg, 30.8lbs) for a bike with this travel. Besides that, all the its other qualities compensating everything.

The climbing is amazing. I was wondering if all that reviews I read were right. Yes, they were. So far, not a single bob, even with the propedal off. Just pedal and feel the energy going direct to the traction. I already feel the difference on those top hills I always have had problems with. In flat areas, the bike accelerates very quickly, like a sports car asking for more power as you step the gas. I’m really very pleased with that.

Going down is another blessing. With 150 mm of travel rear and front, I’m just ignoring the path I’ve been riding in it. I just point the bars and let it go. The bike swallows everything in its way. Also, I love the way the rear wheel is always in contact with the ground (except some jumps, of course), transmitting the energy for increase the speed. My confidence is growing day by day.

The bottom line is: I’m love with my Banshee. I’m really really happy with it and started to spread the Banshee’s gospel to everybody I run into on the bushes. Long live to guys there. May they can continue doing this marvelous job.

PH – new Banshee enthusiast

P.S.: I’m selling my Jekyll. Drop me a line if you are interested. I’m flexible doing business.